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Hyperlocal and global issues discussed at the Ottawa Center Candidates debate

The debate addressed questions highlighting concerns in the Ottawa area that have dealt with intensification and development pressures.

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State candidates considered issues ranging from global to hyperlocal at the second Virtual Ottawa Center Election Debate, which took place on Tuesday night in less than a week.

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Sponsored by the Kitchissippi Community Association and moderated by CBC journalist Amanda Feffer, the debate addressed questions highlighting concerns in the Ottawa area dealing with intensifying and development pressures. He also touched on the main themes of the campaign: health care, housing and the environment.

In addition to the four main candidates — incumbent Joel Harden of NDP. Green candidate Shelby Bertrand, a political activist whose work includes interviews with survivors of a housing school. Liberal candidate Katie Gibbs, an environmental scientist who founded a science advocacy group. PC candidate Scott Healy, a businessman who served in the Canadian Army for 40 years, was given the opportunity for three minor candidates to sue voters. One of them, independent Josh Lacris, did so with pictures and songs he made from other candidates. “Thank you for taking care of the Ottawa Center. I’ll stay in touch when I’m in Queen’s Park,” he sang in a short presentation.

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Some points from the two-hour discussion:

All politics is local

Housing is a major theme in local elections, but some of the questions asked to candidates reflect the complexity of strengthening suburbs. In the question, candidates can make sure that the planning process is more equitable, how communities facing major development projects get a say, and without destroying the canopy or losing green space. I was asked how to strengthen it.

Candidates, including Healy and Bertland, said their doors would always be open. “Transparency and dialogue are very important,” said Bertland. Harden said the NDP will bring legal support to the community in the planning process.

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Liberal candidate Gibbs said there was little community trust in the planning process.

“As part of our climate goals, we need to strengthen and build them as part of our climate change goals, but confidence is low and we need to work to rebuild that confidence,” she said.

She said the liberals have a strategy to give the trees of the city a place for state government policy and require them to be tracked, planted and grown. Candidates for NDP and Green said their party would prioritize the protection of the canopy. Healy said trees are important and must be a priority in city planning.

All politics is local, part 2

Gibbs and Healy were asked about the explosion at the cannabis store in Ottawa. Gibbs called the cannabis store licensing system “not very sustainable” and said the Liberal Party had some rules to strengthen the approval of new stores. Healy said it’s hard to go unnoticed by the growth of stores in the city. Like Gibbs, he said he wanted to make sure the kids were protected and the ordinance was used by the city to do so, but said the market would determine which store survived. rice field.

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Confirmation of name

Fresh from his performance in the debate of state leaders on Monday, the stock of green leader Mike Schleiner was high, which could be heard in the debate at the Ottawa Center on Tuesday.

Green candidate Bertland finished his introduction, “with Mike Schleiner,” saying he would fight for the Ottawa Center every day at Queen’s Park.

She was the only candidate for a major party who mentioned their party leader during the debate.

Rent management

Green, NDP, and liberal party candidates all supported some form of policy to keep rents more affordable. PC candidate Healy said he didn’t support rent stabilization and was afraid to punish small landlords. He said more supply would lower prices.

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Is life a highway?

The extension of Highway 417 is part of the Progressive Conservative Party Platform, which also includes building a new highway near GTA — 413, PCs say it saves commuters time — but critics say. , It mainly supported the party. Three of the four major party candidates at the Ottawa Center (Green, NDP, Liberal) said there was no support and no need to do so.

Harden said the money PCs want to spend on highway widening and construction needs to mitigate climate emergencies and invest in affordable housing, childcare and schools.

Gibbs, who promised the party to pay for transit rides, said there was little support for highway widening at the Ottawa Center.

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“I knocked on thousands of doors. I don’t think any of them said that building a new highway or widening a highway was a top priority.”

“You just heard from the right”

Glen Armstrong, a councilor of the Otawa Catholic Board of Education running for the New Blue Party, is running candidates across the state. His party has ended all pandemic obligations and removed wind turbines. Among other promises, he said, reforming education and reducing HST by introducing alternative school tax deductions.

“You heard from the left in the debate. You just heard from the right,” Armstrong said.

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Hyperlocal and global issues discussed at the Ottawa Center Candidates debate

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